Katsina Govt Signs MOU With SON To Develop MSMEs


Katsina State Government has revealed its effort towards achieving success in the development of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the state.

Some of these efforts include among others; identification of priority products, capacity building to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises as well as the provision of land to the Standard Organization of Nigeria, SON for the construction of office and laboratory.

The State Governor, Aminu Masari, through his Deputy, Mannir Yakubu made the revelation on Monday after he signed a Memorandum of understanding with the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) led by the Director-General of the organization, Malam Faruq Sulaiman.

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According to Yakubu, the signing of the MOU which was held in his office at the Katsina Government House followed a visit by the Katsina state delegation under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Council to the SON Headquarters in Abuja.

He explained that part of the requests forwarded to the Standard Organization of Nigeria by the state government includes the establishment of Certification Centre and sensitization to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises on how to make their products and services up to standard.

In his response, the Director-General of the Standard Organization of Nigeria, Mallam Faruq Sulaiman, explained that the MOU was out to facilitate training and create awareness programs aimed at building capacity in the area of standards development, application, quality assurance, and conformity assessment as enshrined in Standard Organization’s mandate.

Shortly after the state deputy governor, Mannir Yakubu signed the MOU on behalf of the Katsina State Government, and the SON Director-General, Malam Faruq Sulaiman signed on behalf of his organization an offer for the piece of land was presented to the Standard Organization of Nigeria by the state government.

We Must Find Ways Of Doing More For MSMEs Survival Fund, Says Osinbajo

File photo of Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo.



With the kind of impact and interest already generated among Nigerians by the ongoing implementation of the Survival Fund under the Economic Sustainability Plan, there is now a need to expand the scope and reach of the benefits to an even larger number of the populace, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

This hint was dropped at a virtual meeting held just before the Christmas holidays between Prof. Osinbajo and the Steering Committee of the MSMEs Survival Fund. The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, Chairperson of the Committee; the Chairman of First Bank, Mrs Ibukun Awosika, the Committee’s Vice-Chairperson, among other members.

So far, the scheme has commenced disbursement to about 500,000 beneficiaries: the Payroll Support Scheme has paid close to 350,000 beneficiaries; almost 166,000 0f 300,000 Artisans have benefitted from the Artisan & Transport Scheme, and the Corporate Affairs Commission is ramping up numbers to register 250,000 new businesses free of charge.

By the end of December, an approximate of 400,000 Payroll Support beneficiaries would have received salaries for October to December, while structures have been put in place to commence the General Grants and the Guaranteed Offtake Scheme early next year.

Speaking on the implementation of the scheme and the need to expand the scope, the Vice President said “the data indicating what you have done so far shows that it is possible for the government to deliver big programmes, and to deliver them credibly. And it is possible for people to actually benefit from government programmes especially with as little interference as possible from the political forces which is what has been the bane of several government programmes in the years past.”

Continuing, Prof. Osinbajo noted that, “I think that we must find ways of expanding the scope of the scheme because when you look at the numbers that we have approval for, the numbers are small in comparison to the enormity of the problems that we are faced with.

“Even if we are able to reach 2 million beneficiaries, it is still a tiny percentage of the millions who require help and assistance. So, I think, we have to find ways of trying to seek approval to expand the scope of the scheme. This is an important aspect of it.”

Commending the committee for their efforts in impacting the lives of beneficiaries of the Payroll Support, the Artisan and Transport grants as well as beneficiaries in other tracks of the scheme, the Vice President said the partnership with the private sector in the implementation of the scheme was notable.

In another virtual meeting on Tuesday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and some federal ministers interacted with the Nigeria Automotive Manufacturers Association (NAMA).

At the meeting last week, the VP said the central plank of the government’s automotive policy was to protect the interest of all Nigerians, noting that maintaining high tariffs on automobiles will not necessarily lead to growth in the industry.

According to the Vice President, “Government has the responsibility for ensuring the welfare of the people, everybody and every industry. And the Auto industry is important. I understand all the issues about how the auto industry contributes to macroeconomic growth, jobs and others.”

Prof. Osinbajo noted that the way forward was for “the auto industry to challenge itself and whatever support it requires from the government to be able to say, where is the Nigerian car that will be affordable to all and affordable to most people.

“You got to find a way of developing a local industry that will benefit the people. If that is not working then it may mean that it is not just an auto policy issue. I know there are many constraints to manufacturing, but we can make things work.

Explaining further, the Vice President said “I want us to take all these into account and see that we must work jointly, it is not just about protecting an industry, it is about protecting the economy, and protecting everybody.

“There are countries of the world that have the same parameters as we have and are able to do much more for their people. I think we should think along with those terms, and not simply think about how this industry will maintain this relatively high tariff and for how long will this high tariff be maintained. Is this the only way of sustaining the industry? I don’t think so. You don’t need 77% percent tariff to ensure an industry grows, I don’t think so.”

Present at the meeting were the Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed; Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Niyi Adebayo and other top government officials alongside representatives of the automotive industry.

Fashion Industry Will Be One Of Nigeria’s Biggest Sources Of Revenue – Osinbajo

A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
A file photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo



Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is projecting that the fashion industry will be one of the biggest sources of revenue to the country in the near future.

“The fashion industry will be one of Nigeria’s biggest sources of revenues and I can assure you, it will be much bigger than all that we see today,” Osinbajo said on Friday at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for MSMEs, the Eko Fashion Hub 1, in Lagos State.

“The scheme itself covers a wide range of shared facilities of various kinds. But this one, the fashion hub, is the latest example and it seeks to provide high-quality operating equipment which more businesses can access at a reasonable cost within a conducive space.”

While disclosing that the fashion hub will service three hundred and eighty MSMEs daily, Osinbajo explained that the ripple effects of the shared facility will be felt massively by businesses, especially those around it.

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“The facility will generally help in reducing the operating cost for users, allowing them to invest their savings in expanding their businesses and hiring more staff,” the 63-year-old Professor of Law and former Head, Department of Public Law, University of Lagos, added.

A Deep Commitment 

Although the former Lagos State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice admitted that 2020 has been a rough one due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he assured that the Federal Government is deeply committed to helping MSMEs.

“As we all know, MSMEs are the engine of the Nigerian economy. When they strive, the economy strives; when they struggle, the economy struggles,” Osinbajo stressed.

“This is why the Federal Government is deeply committed to ensuring that we incrementally create the best possible environment for MSMEs to do well.

“The administration is doing this in various ways from improving access to credit through the Central Bank, Development Bank of Nigeria and others.”

Osinbajo who in June this year virtually commissioned and handed over the 200,000-capacity Yam Storage Facility at the Zaki Biam International Yam Market in Benue State, disclosed that there are plans to establish more Shared Facilities in other parts of the country.

“We are doing all these to support MSMEs across the country to maintain their staffing levels and keep their businesses afloat through these very challenging times,” he explained during the event.

FG Approves $20m Tech Fund For Young Innovators


The Federal Government on Tuesday approved the sum of $20million technology fund for young innovators.

The sum was set aside by the Bank of Industry (BoI) in furtherance of the Buhari administration’s drive to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande.

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He added that this was the outcome of a meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja, which was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to review progress on the Buhari administration’s efforts to support MSMEs.

According to Akande, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is also offering a N90 Billion soft loan facility for small scale agriculture enterprises.

He added that the National MSMEs clinics driven by the Vice President has now reached 26 States, with more clinics to come in the series.

Also, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is now poised more than ever to register more Nigerians venturing into the food and drug businesses.

All Federal Government agencies playing one role or the other in the MSMEs sector attended the meeting.

Imo Govt. Attracts N1bn To Support MSMEs

Imo Govt. Attracts N1bn To Support MSMEsThe Imo state government has hinted that the disbursement of the 1 billion naira Central Bank loan to operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the state will commence soon.

According to the state’s Commissioner for Planning, Mr. Iyke Njoku, the loan which will be repaid between a period of one to three years is geared towards supporting MSMEs in the state.

Imo Govt. Attracts 1bn Naira From CBN To Support MSMEs

Imo, CBN, MSMEs, Rochas Okorocha,The Imo State government says it will commence the disbursement of one billion naira to operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state.

The State government had applied for two billion naira, but got the approval for one billion naira after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had announced that it has earmarked 200 billion naira for MSMEs.

The disbursement plan was disclosed by the state’s Commissioner for Planning, Mr Iyke Njoku, during an interactive session with journalists in Owerri, the Imo State capital in southeast Nigeria.

The commissioner, who is also the Chief Economic Adviser to the State Governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, explained that the loan was obtained from the apex bank to boost and support MSMEs in the state.

He hinted that the loan was expected to be repaid within a period of one to three years.

Mr Njoku, however, said that the loan would be strictly monitored by the state government to ensure it was not diverted from the purpose it was meant for.

Lawmakers Promise More Support For Nigerian SMEs

Lawmakers Promise More Support For Nigerian SMEsPaucity of funds and lack of business registration have been identified as perennial challenges to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria.

Director General of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Dr Umaru Radda, brought this to the fore while briefing the House of Representatives Committee on Industry during an oversight visit to industrial development centres in Lagos state.

Experts have identified small and medium scale enterprises as having the potential to boost any dwindling economy and the Nigerian authorities have been looking to SMEs as a way of reviving the economy.

The Director General of SMEDAN gave a situation report to the delegation from the National Assembly on the state of MSMEs in Nigeria and their budget performance in the current year.

After the briefing, the delegation moved to the Industrial Development Centre (IDC) in Ikorodu area of the state which is one of the 23 IDCs across the country.

There, most of the facilities are dilapidated from lack of use with most of the equipment, gathering dust.

The Chairman, House Committee on Industry, Mr Abubakar Moriki, then promised to turn the tide of the entrepreneurs by reviving the IDC.

The lawmakers succeeded in boosting the confidence of the entrepreneurs there that soon, the IDCs across the country would be revived.

Recession: Obiano Suspends Minor Taxes In Anambra

Anambra, Obiano, Taxes, RecessionAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has suspended payment of numerous minor taxes in the state, announcing that the directive will take immediate effect.

In a broadcast at the Governor’s Lodge in Amawbia, southeast Nigeria, he said the decision followed the announcement of the Federal Government that the nation’s economy had gone into recession.

The Governor noted that his administration was aware of the difficulty the economic crisis had posed to the people of the state.

Four Intervention Stimulus

He said the state government had come up with a “four-intervention stimulus package”, to ease the pain of recession and its impact on the people in the grassroots majorly.

Governor Obiano identified the first part of the four key areas of intervention as the “Tax Relief Programme” in which various minor taxes would be suspended.

The second is the “Special Intervention Programmes for Small and Medium Enterprises and Large Enterprises” where the state government, under the Anambra Small Business Agency (ASBA), would provide the agency with a minimum of three billion Naira to lend to SMEs and MSMEs at nine per cent interest rates across key sectors.

Under the third intervention, which is the “Social Intervention Programme”, the government would provide the sum of 3.6 billion Naira to fund the ongoing 20 million Naira “Choose-Your-Project Community Programme” in all the 179 communities in the state.

The last programme is the “Infrastructure Intervention for Job Creation” in which the government would fund the development of 500 hectares of land in all agrarian communities across the three senatorial zones for commercial agricultural purposes among other measures.

Governor Obiano believes that Anambra State has the manpower, the material resources and the willpower to turn the looming despair and suffering to hope and prosperity for its people.

GDP Contracted In second Quarter

Nigeria’s economic recession had become obvious few weeks ago, after a report by the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the Gross Domestic Product had contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

According to the report, the decline has caused the Naira to get weaker while lower oil prices dragged the oil sector down.

The output shrunk by 0.36 in the first quarter.

During the quarter, nominal GDP was 2.73% higher at 23.48 million Naira at basic prices.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) retained all key indicators.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, read a communique, announcing decisions reached at its September meeting in the nation’s capital, Abuja.

The committee agreed to keep the Monetary Policy Rate at 14 percent, the Cash Reserve Ratio at 22.50 percent and the Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent.

Cross River Government Woos Investors, Commissions BOI Office

Cross River Government Woos Investors, Commissions BOI OfficeCross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has expressed the determination of his administration to create an enabling environment for private investors to do business in the state.

The Governor, who was represented by his Deputy Governor, Ivara Esu, disclosed this at the commissioning of the Bank Of Industry (BOI) office in Calabar, the Cross River State capital in south-south Nigeria.

According to Governor Ayade, the commissioning of the office in Calabar was a clear indication of an enduring partnership that would have a huge impact on the state’s industrialisation drive, job creation, economic development and sustained socio-economic growth.

He assured the bank of unreserved support of the state government to enable it operate effectively in the quest of the state to achieve economic transformation.

Managing Director of BOI, Mr Rasheed Olaoluwa, disclosed that with this strategic and visionary initiative, the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Cross River State now have access to BOI’s development finance and business advisory services.

According to him, the establishment of the state office would further strengthen the existing partnership between BOI and the Cross River State Government and improve their service Turn-Around-Time to their customers.